US suspends visas for migrants who can’t pay for healthcare
Washington: The Trump administration will deny visas to immigrants who cannot prove they will have health insurance or the ability to pay for medical costs once they become permanent residents of the US, the White House announced on Friday in the latest move by President Donald Trump to undermine legal immigration.
Trump issued a proclamation, effective November 3, ordering consular officers to bar immigrants seeking to live in the US unless they “will be covered by approved health insurance” or can prove that they have “the financial resources to pay for reasonably foreseeable medical costs.”
Trump justified the move by saying that legal immigrants are three times as likely as US citizens to lack health insurance, making them a burden on hospitals and taxpayers in the US. Officials cited a Kaiser Family Foundation study that said that among the nonelderly population, 23% of legal immigrants were likely to be uninsured, compared with about 8% of US citizens.
“The US government is making the problem worse by admitting thousands of aliens who have not demonstrated any ability to pay for their health care costs,” Trump wrote, adding, “immigrants who enter this country should not further saddle our health care system, and subsequently American taxpayers, with higher costs.”
According to a White House official , the policy does not affect refugees, asylumseekers or students seeking to attend college in the US, according to the White House.
Once the policy is in place, people seeking immigrant visas would be asked by consular officers to show how they intend to be covered by health insurance within 30 days of arriving in the US. That could include proof they will have health care through a job or will be covered under a relative’s insurance. If they cannot show that to the satisfaction of the consular office, their visa will be denied, the White House official said.